Does aggressive treatment of birth defects and conditions present the best chance of giving a child a normal life, or does the risk outweigh the potential benefit?
COLUMBUS, OH, October 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Born with myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida, 4-month-old Hannah Stepien, along with her parents, struggles through everyday life. The infant cannot drain her own bladder and suffers from severe constipation. The outlook concerning her physical ability and cognitive development is uncertain.
As difficult as the situation is, perhaps the toughest time for Hannah's parents was when they first received the diagnosis while she was in the womb.
Doctors offered Hannah's parents a choice: Wait for Hannah to be born and then operate on her spine or opt for a controversial, new neonatal surgery. Hannah's mom chose to treat her daughter's myelomeningocele aggressively, and surgeons opened the mother's uterus and operated on the tissue surrounding Hannah's spinal cord.
The Stepiens won't know much about Hannah's outlook until she reaches 12 months of age, but they're at peace with their decision to proactively treat Hannah's neural tube defect.
Myelomeningocele affects as many as one in 800 infants, but a wide variety of birth defects and conditions present parents with a similar dilemma. Does aggressive treatment present the best chance of giving a child a normal life, or does the risk outweigh the potential benefit?
Treating Infants With Severe Health Conditions
When a child, born or unborn, is diagnosed with a serious health problem, it's important for the physician to sit down with the parents and carefully explore treatment options. While a doctor often has his or her own recommendation, parents are typically the ones who must make a difficult decision on what medical procedures, if any, are in the child's best interest.
Birth defects/conditions that present parents with the prospect of neonatal surgery include:
- Esophageal atresia
- Intestinal obstruction
- Omphalocele and gastroschisis
- Fetal distress
In situations where the baby is in grave danger, there may not be time for doctors and parents to sit down and carefully review surgical options. In many cases, particularly in the delivery room, an obstetrician must perform an emergency cesarean section to save the life of the mother, child or both.
Not Always A Decision For Parents To Make
Sometimes, it's the doctor who must decide to act when a child is threatened with serious injury or death. When an unborn child is in distress, the risk of permanent physical and cognitive damage is high. This is why monitoring a baby is crucial.
Fetal monitoring is only one component. The doctor has to recognize when a dangerous condition surfaces and he or she may have to order an emergency c-section. When a child isn't receiving enough oxygen or blood flow, serious brain injuries can occur. In these situations, the doctor must take swift action without delay. A delayed c-section can result in life-altering conditions like cerebral palsy
Could My Child's Condition/Injuries Have Been Prevented?
When a child suffers from a birth injury or defect, it often brings a deluge of emotions to the parents. While anger, confusion, fear and even guilt are normal feelings in this situation, it's important for parents to carefully assess their child's condition and outlook.
An experienced birth injury
attorney will sit down and review the series of events leading up to your child's injuries. A skilled lawyer will help you ascertain your legal rights and what courses of action you may wish to take. If medical negligence was involved, you may be able to recover money damages that can be used to improve your child's outlook.
Ohio has strict time limits for bringing a medical injury or wrongful death claim, known as the statute of limitations, so don't delay in contacting an accomplished birth injury law firm.About The Donahey Law Firm
As one of the oldest personal injury law firms in central Ohio, The Donahey Law Firm have been obtaining record verdicts and settlements
for injured people for over three decades. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to providing the best legal representation for our clients. Contact us toll free, 800-792-1480, and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal concern, or visit our Web site, http://www.donaheylaw.com
for more information.
The Donahey Law Firm
495 S High St #300
Columbus, OH 43215
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